Sincerity is the keynote of Clothes, Clothes, Clothes …, just as it was of the musical movement Albertine had such a big hand in ... What strikes you is the tone and technique of her writing. It’s simple, so it works: she uses the present continuous throughout (with, occasionally, an italicised reflection or commentary from today in brackets), which places you squarely in each moment ... Her character runs through the book like letters through a stick of rock, and this is more a lesson in how to look back from middle age than it is a conventional rock memoir – no self-aggrandisement, but occasionally a quiet, defiant pride in her achievements.
Ms. Albertine’s book is wiry and cogent and fearless. It contains story after story about men who told her she couldn’t do things that she did anyway ... Her book has an honest, lo-fi grace. If it were better written, it would be worse ... She’s quite honest in this memoir about whom she slept with, and the attendant miseries. On her first page, she says, 'Here we go then, (genital) warts an’ all' ... Ms. Albertine’s life up to the breakup of the Slits occupies only half of Clothes Clothes Clothes. There’s a lot of pain in the second section, which she calls Side 2: loneliness, doubt, a bad marriage, cancer, depression.
...a profoundly unsparing and affectionate memoir: a tale of being present for punk’s foundation, falling out of music into middle-class oblivion, and finally coming back to performing in 2008 and to recording new music in 2010. I haven’t seen anything that captures the different sides of punk so well ... Clothes recalls Edna O’Brien’s similar, though more serpentine and literary, journey in Country Girl. Albertine is an escape artist, one who managed to circumvent a boredom worse than death in her youth, found herself trapped in a life she couldn’t adjust to, and eventually, with great determination and grit, started over from scratch in music.